PLATTE RIVER, MICHIGAN

Friday, September 26, 1997

I returned to the Platte for another go at salmon fishing. Keith Robinson and Tanner came with me. We got to the Platte River Campground late at night and found that most of the sites were filled. We found one near the river and had a few beers before going to bed.

Saturday, September 27, 1997

Keith and I got up around 7:30 to hit the water. We saw that several guys were already coming back by the time we finally got on the water.

We saw a few salmon heading upstream but nothing like the numbers I saw last year. I don't think I even had any good casts at salmon in the morning. Keith talked to a few guys who caught cohos that morning. They said they were just trying to aggravate the fish to get them to bite. We walked a lot of the water downstream looking for salmon but saw next to nothing.

We headed up to the fish hatchery to take a quick tour and see the mother lode of salmon. We also stopped for lunch at Sleepy Bear Lounge in Honor. We had great soup, chili, sandwiches and beer. It's a must stop from now on.

In the afternoon we tried some more fishing upstream of the campground. We saw a few more and had a few good casting opportunities but still got nothing. Frustrated, we decided to head to the Betsie where I had fished before. We saw about 10 cohos there but didn't even come close to catching any. At night we had a few more beers and cooked some food.

Sunday, September 28, 1997

I got up well before daybreak to get a really good shot at some coho. Even when I got into position I could barely see the river bottom. I think I ended up spooking far more fish than I could have caught. I had a few good opportunities and saw more than I had all weekend but still never came close to getting a strike.

Back at camp Keith had woken up and got coffee going. We ate a bit, played with Tanner and then started taking down camp. Just as we were finishing up, Greg and Patti Kirchmeier showed up. They were attending a convention at the Grand Traverse. Greg told us stories of how he and a bunch of kids had been catching brookies, browns and chinook in Acme Creek. The kids were snagging and gave Greg a nice chinook.

Greg wanted to fish here a bit so I joined him for about 45 minutes. He caught a bunch of brookies and browns using spinning gear. Meanwhile I accidentally caught one brookie and nearly snagged a coho. I only got three good casts at it before my egg pattern caught its tail. It was a very short fight. Oh well, better luck next year.


Saturday, September 14, 1996

Started fishing the headwaters near Allyn in the early afternoon with Redwood. We were on an all-out fishing weekend to hit as many rivers and spots as possible. Caught a couple of small browns plus a few unknown fish on state land on the south side of the river. Nice camping spots, shallow water, but not enough fish.

Moved down to the Veteran's Memorial campground (20 camping sites, nice but close to the highway) and fished that a bit. Didn't catch anything, but did see a hulking fish swim by. I thought it was a steelhead, it turned out to be a coho.

Then went down to the Platte River campground, which is more secluded and has 25 sites. Caught a couple more small trout and saw another hulking fish swim by. Lots of access here, and lots of holes to fish.

Near dusk I drove to the Betsie River and fished there and hung out for a while. I intended to sleep in the truck near the Betsie but didn't feel comfortable for some reason. I drove to the hatchery and looked around a bit.

Before it got too late, I returned to the Platte River campground and slept there. The campground was nearly empty.

Sunday, September 15, 1996

I got up around 7 a.m. and started fishing at the day-use area. Right away about a dozen of the hulking fish swam upstream.

Naturally I stopped fishing for trout and started fishing for salmon/steelhead. They were very aware of my presence, my casting, my line and my fly. I don't think you can easily fool these fish into taking a fly. Instead, I harrassed them into taking it by waving the fly back and forth in front of there noses. It was disappointing to see school after school of fish swim by; probably 100 without catching any. So I took off upstream to catch up with them. I found a couple of spots where they were forced to swim through a narrow channel and harrassd them there.

I had several snags/hook ups, most of the time my 1x line would break. My sink tip line seemed to spook the fish less, as well as a less colorful fly.

Finally I landed one after a tough fight. I was so fired up with adrenelen when I netted it. I identified it as a coho salmon. It was 25 inches long and 13 inches around the belly, probably less than 10 pounds pretty typical as far as I could see.

I tried to get one more to take home but couldn't. On the way home I stopped by the hatchery again and toured though the buildings and saw where all the salmon go. Hundreds of them found there way into a holding pen and will be used to create the next group of fish plantings. It would be nice to try fishing a little closer to the hatchery. It doesn't seem to busy. I also stopped at the Muskegon River on the drive back to GR.


Saturday, July 23, 1994

While in Suttons Bay to attend Keith and Gretchen's wedding, Paul and I fly-fished together for the first time. The Platte is very shallow and clear knee deep at its best. We saw a few trout surface, but they were small fry. I caught two both browns on a bead head hares ear. Paul caught four using a prince nymph and hares ear. Although the fish were small (all we caught were less than a foot), they were easily spooked. The weather was absolutely fantastic. The only down side was the constant stream of canoers asking how the fishing was.

Platte River Streamflow Data:

 

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